The recent fall in M&A activity was a central theme at this year Benelux M&A and Private Equity Forum. Industry experts assessed the outlook for deal flow and evaluated which sectors looked the most promising.
Joao Grande, Industrials reporter- Mergermarket Group, reviews the main discussion points.
- Despite all political and economic uncertainty, investors’ confidence in Benelux haven’t been dramatically affected. Deals were down in 2016 compared to the previous year, however 2015 was a particularly successful year for this sector.
- Brexit brings uncertainty but it can also create opportunities for Benelux companies looking to buy in the UK, due to the weak GBP. Some sectors can benefit from changes in the political environment and therefore companies may seek more deals.
- The Chinese buying spree in Europe is here to stay. Chinese buyers are becoming more sophisticated and are present in many of the most important deals. Objections have been raised by authorities on the continent who want to protect their industries, however this is not a general trend and will only affect specific segments.
- The IPO scenario in the Benelux is not expected to change dramatically either. Some analysts believed that the region could benefit from companies moving away from uncertainties in the UK, but this is not likely to result in a surge in IPOs in Benelux. Opportunities will be based on short- lived and companies must be prepared to take advantage of them.
Despite the volatile political and economic landscape, opportunities are present for the Benelux region. Investors are still confident and there are strong drivers for M&A activity….watch this space.